The bill for private schools addresses the problems: source

  • By Chen Yun, Rachel Lin, and Jake Chung / Staff Reporters, with a Staff Writer

Passage of a bill to close private high schools and similar institutes would provide a legislative basis to close private schools and address issues that may arise, including severance pay, student transfers and reassignment land, a source said on Friday.

At least 40 private colleges and high schools would be eligible for special aid, and they could close within two years if they do not improve, the source said on condition of anonymity.

Private vocational colleges and private high schools where an insufficient number of teachers meet regulatory standards would be placed on a warning list, says the law, which passed its third reading on Friday.

If the faculty situation persists into the next school year, the school may be listed as needing special project assistance, the law says.

The Ministry of Education would establish a review committee, comprising the school’s board of trustees, faculty members, student representatives, experts and members of society of impeccable integrity, to determine whether the school should be assisted through a special project, he says.

Authorities should assign faculty members, student representatives and an academic to the board, as well as an additional academic as controller, if a school needs special project assistance, it says. he.

During this period, approval from the Ministry must be sought for construction projects exceeding NT$1 million (US$34,176), financial purchases or labor contracts, real estate exchanges and reassignment of responsibilities, to prevent other board members from having the ability to liquidate the school’s assets, the law says.

Schools assisted by the project should, within two years, see improvement, he says, adding that if they fail to do so, they should stop recruitment and, the following year, be suspended.

If suspended, the council must be removed from office and professors and experts must represent no less than three-quarters of the new council, one-third of which must be made up of professors, the law says.

However, during the two years of aid, schools can request to change their school designation, to merge with another school or to transform into an association responsible for education, culture or social protection, specifies- he.

In the event that a school stops recruiting, it must pay severance and retirement pay for its teachers, but the fund is only liable for a six-month payment, according to the law.

These schools should facilitate the transfer of students to other schools and should subsidize them if they face increased expenses at their new institute, the report says.

However, the National Federation of Teachers’ Unions said on Friday that allowing schools to transition their designation would leave a backdoor for asset liquidation and create chaos.

The ministry should carefully monitor any changes to the net worth of private schools and ensure that educational resources are used appropriately.

Additionally, with a declining student population, the ministry estimates that by 2028, the freshman student population would drop to 162,000, down 116,000, or 40 percent, from 2012.

Private school unions have also estimated that more than 40 private schools will face closure by 2029, and that at least 53 private high schools and private vocational high schools will close within five years.

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